What do I pack?

Today I bring Our dog, ChloeChloe to the hospital… not the animal hospital, where she has been a frequent visitor in the past 7 weeks, but to Beverly Hospital, where she and Fred will be among the volunteers who are recognized for their heart-warming pet therapy visits. While she will surely be exhausted by the end of the luncheon, she will also be showered with love and gratitude, cuddles and neck rubs by the staff and volunteers. In other words, it will be a good day for her!

Thank you for your concern for our sweet dog. An ultrasound this week revealed no evidence of growths or tumors. Whatever caused her blood platelets to bottom out 7 weeks ago is not likely to be cancer. She is still wiped out from the side effects of the medication, and maybe from the effects of the auto-immune disease that caused her blood levels to go haywire in the first place. But she is still her sweet, loveable self, albeit with less energy than before, and with no pep in her step to climb stairs or scale couches. Still, it feels like things are more stable for now, and for that I am grateful.

As for me, I can hardly believe that this trip to Scotland is just about here! While I am not at all confident that I will pack the right mix of clothes for the windy, chilly, often damp days of spring in Scotland, I am very confident that this trip will be one I will remember forever. After all, Iona, Scotland is a place I have wanted to visit since I first heard my seminary friend talk about its Abbey, some 20 years ago. I honestly didn’t know if I would ever get there. I certainly never imagined that I would travel there with my mom. I feel truly blessed!

We leave for Edinburgh on Monday night and arrive on Tuesday afternoon. While some of you are used to jetting through time zones, I am not. I have trouble adjusting to Daylight Saving Time. Alas, you can pray that we are not like the walking dead when we take a tour of the city with a private guide on Wednesday morning, and that we don’t fall asleep during the show at the Edinburgh Playhouse on Thursday afternoon. Ready or not, we hop on the train on Friday, heading for the western coast of Scotland, then make the trek to the Isle of Iona on Saturday. The retreat begins on Saturday afternoon. My heart is full just thinking about it!

Or is that just my anxiety about packing? Come to think of it, can I pack a therapy dog in my suitcase? I know a great one!